Year 1 Blog

Welcome to the blog for our Year 1 classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.

Mrs Foulds

Green Class Teacher

Mrs De Vynck

Purple Class Teacher

We have two year 1 classes. Children in these classes are developing their skills and building on the learning from Foundation Stage. When the children are ready, usually by October half term, the learning becomes based on the Key Stage One National Curriculum Programmes of Study. We still believe that children learn best when the ‘subjects’ are linked in a meaningful way and then basic skills are taught for a real purpose. We encourage the children to take ownership of their learning, ask questions and have a say in the planning process. We hope to motivate all children by taking account of their needs, strengths and interests and provide rich experiences and learning opportunities which will continue to excite them.

World Book Day – 3rd March 2016

World Book Day

  • Dress up as a book character for the day.
  • Parents are invited from 2.30pm onwards to spend time with your child sharing favourite books.  If you or your child has a favourite book at home we would be happy for you to bring that with you.

Purple Class Spring Term!

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We have enjoyed a happy welcome back to Purple Class this week after the half term and have enjoyed a range of learning so far. In English we are looking at the Beginning, Middle and End of a Traditional Tale-we have had some great understanding of this topic and Ben said ‘They begin with Once Upon a Time…’ whilst Selma added that ‘A long time ago’ could be another good story opener for a Traditional Tale. We all agreed that ‘Yesterday’ would not be appropriate!

In Maths we have been Bridging through 10 and I have been impressed by most children’s understanding-they have used a range of manipulatives such as Bead Strings to enable their understanding. We have also done some problem solving in the play ground and incorporating our Cross Curricular links Mr Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood came to accompany the children. We will be moving forward to doing work on Number Lines during the rest of the week.


We have also had some fantastic work on the Large Apparatus in PE this week and the children have completed some good jumping and travelling. We have also been thinking about the Seasons and have completed a learning walk through the school grounds observing the signs (or not?) of Spring and contemplating which Season we are currently in and how we know. It has been a great start back to the term and it was wonderful to welcome the children back.


W/c 8th February in Green Class

We have had some visitors in class this week, which the children always enjoy. James’ Mummy kindly came in and talked about how James and Aimee were welcomed into their family. She talked about the Chinese and Dutch traditions which the family share. The children were particularly intrigued by the red eggs – questions included “Do the red eggs turn into red chickens?” In PE the children are continuing to practise rolls and jumps, off large apparatus. As well as the gymnastics skills, the children have been learning how to do gym in the best year 1 way – quietly, showing good concentration. They did very well this week and we are looking forward to many more sessions where the children focus so well.

Mrs Lyal was in class on Thursday and she continued the children’s learning about belonging to different religions. She also did a session on estimation, an essential area in Maths, and one which can be practised at home. How many apples do you estimate are in the fruit bowl? How long do you think it will take to walk to school?

In Maths, the children have been learning to look for patterns. Some children counted out different quantities of objects to see which amounts could be shared equally between 2 children. We did this in two sessions, one where they put a red cube on every number which could be shared equally, on the “number snake”, and a blue cube on those numbers which couldn’t be shared equally. The children  looked to see which pattern developed on the number snake. Then today they shared the quantities between 2 children and drew round Numicon shapes – one column was shapes showing numbers which could be shared by 2 equally; and the other column showed shapes of numbers which couldn’t be shared equally. What do all the Numicon shapes in one column have in common; and what do the tiles in the other column have in common? What patterns could be seen? Other children played a game. 4 numbers had to be placed round a circle so the difference between adjacent numbers is odd. The children practised lots of calculations quickly – the numerical fluency which is essential to the Maths curriculum. Additionally, the aim was to identify the pattern needed to make an odd number whenever one number was taken away from the other. Can your son or daughter tell you which pattern/s s/he saw and what s/he learrnt? There was some marvellous partner collaboration and discussion going on.

In English today the children showed fantastic concentration when every one wrote independently to describe a character of their choice from “Red Riding Hood”. The children’s understanding of sentence construction – finger spaces, full-stops, capital letters – is excellent; and represents a very good position to be in halfway through year 1.

We did our first session of compass directions, where I explained that North is not the same as forwards or straight up. If you are travelling somewhere different for half-term, perhaps you could show your child where you are going on a map – is in a northerly, southerly, westerly or easterly direction from St Albans?

As a class, we have tried out Purple Mash several times. The children have got much better at logging on to it. It’s very simple – 14, then the child’s first name with a capital, then the first letter of their last name, also in caps – all without spaces. Eg 14KatharineG.   Purple Mash has lots of excellent activities for home learning. There are “easier” activities, such as colouring, taking photos etc, whic h are fun and where the children can practise some Computing skills. However, there are better activities, such as the writing tasks on Traditional Tales under Literacy under Topics. For instance, with the Little Red Riding Hood speech bubbles, the children use what they know from the story, write in sentences and can use their own ideas to write creatively too. If your child does any the writing activities on Purple Mash, they can be printed off and stuck in the home learning books.

All the children have at least one unread book in their bookbags. Additionally, I have checked bug club and added plenty of books for everyone. Happy holiday and happy reading!aa17aa16  aa13aa14 aa2aa1aa15aa12 aa11 aa10 aa9 aa8 aa7 aa6aa5  aa4 aa3

Cake Sale

Cake Sale – Friday 12th February 2016, 3pm onwards in the School dining room.

(All donations must be nut free)


Welcome to this weeks updates! It has been a fantastic week in Year 1, and all over the school, as firstly we have had a very exciting Maths workshop for the children to enjoy. Designed as a Circus, all the children were able to participate in the activities which were a carousel of adding, taking away, making number bonds to 10 and much more! The children participated very well and learnt an awful lot in a fun, inclusive environment. Leading on from this, Purple Class wrote a recount about the workshop and did a great job at using time connectives that were appropriate in the right order.

We have been learning about bridging through 10 in Maths this week using manipulatives and I have been impressed by the work produced by the children. We have also been writing Algorithms (programs) in Computing and have enjoyed using Beebots to find Blackbeard’s treasure! The children have also had the opportunity to use Purple Mash in computing and have all been given their own log-in details to carry on exploring at home. On Friday we learnt more about Traditional Tales and had a carousel of activities making story boxes, painting and drawing settings-I was told that in order for it to be a Traditional Tale it had to start with ‘Once upon a time’ and maybe ‘A long time ago’. We all agreed that Star Wars couldn’t be one as we didn’t have space ships in the past!

Finally we had a great day on Friday with trampolining across all year groups. It was a brilliant session and the children learnt different skills and manouvers whilst jumping supervised by trained staff. All children had an opportunity to go on all of the trampolines in turn and did differnt jumps at each trampoline-a great opportunity to learn new skills! I was very impressed by the height reached by some of the children and the manouvers they did-well done Purple Class.

w/c1st February in Green Class

Yesterday, Mrs Saglam came to talk about welcoming a baby into Islam. Thank you for the conversations you had about how the children were welcomed into their families and religions, which provided a good starting point for yesterday’s learning. Also yesterday the children suggested good and bad materials to make new chairs for Daddy and Mummy Bears, following a note from Goldilocks when she apologised for the mess she had made in their house. The children used some of their own ideas for possible materials, such as feathers to provide a soft chair for Mummy Bear.

We have continued thinking in detail about traditional tales – the various stories, the characters in them and the settings. We have also written an “always, sometimes, never” list of traditional tale features, such as magic, talking animals, prince and princesses, being set a long time ago,etc. We did have “a happy ending” under the “always” part of the list, but then we read “Chicken Licken” and we had to move that feature to the “sometimes” (usually) part of the list. We also read “The Three Little Wolves and The Big Bad Pig” which the children particularly enjoyed.

We have spent quite a bit of time on learning about bridging through 10, a key calculation strategy, using ten frames and then beadstrings. We’ll continue with this next week.

The week ended in a very exciting, energetic way with trampolines in the hall! There were 2 big trampolines and a trampette; and the children did a different activity on each one. They practised star jumps, pencil jumps and tuck jumps. The coaches showed them how to stop with arms outstretched in front.  Everyone had a fantastic time.

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Maths Workshop in Year 1

Like the year 2 classes on Tuesday, the year 1 children experienced “all the fun of the fair” at school today. An organisation called “Setpoint” came to school to run a Maths workshop comprising of games resembling fairground games. The children worked in groups of 6 and practised their numeracy skills – counting up and back in jumps of 1,2 and 5; finding bonds to 10 or 20; and adding together small numbers mentally. As one child said later, “I found out that learning Maths can be like playing”. The activities can be replicated at home, to provide opportunities to practise and improve mental Maths skills. The games were useful in this, as well as showing, in a different way, the relative strengths and areas to practise of all the children.

Here are some pictures of Green Class at the workshop. The ladies running the session complimented the children on their excellent behaviour and ability to work hard.

After the session, the children used the experience as material to write a recount. They started by using photos to sequence the events and think of good time words they would like to use. After lunch the wrote what had happened, in order. They were to include lots of detail. The resulting recounts make very good reading, reflecting the children’s good effort in writing.

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Calling all sponges

In Science, in Green Class, the children have sorted materials and objects by their properties. They found ways to explain how they know that, for instance, something is soft or rough, etc. During the plenary, the children were asked if there was anything else they were interested in finding out about materials. One child suggested that it would be good to find out all about sponge, which seemed like an excellent idea. It raises questions like “what is a sponge” – is it a material or an object? – Also, when should we use the adjective “sponge” and not another one, like soft? To help us explore the topic, it would be very useful to have as many different examples of sponges as possible in class. If you have any sponges at home which are not needed please could your child bring one in – the more unusual, the better. Thank you very much.

The start of this week in Green Class

The week has got off to a good start, with a visitor in Green Class, which the children always enjoy. Mrs Willingham came into school to talk about belonging to Christianity. She shared some of the things which are important for Christians, like the Bible, which is important to Judaism and Islam, too. Thank you for coming in and enriching the children’s learning. The children listened very well and asked relevant questions.

In Maths we are learning about halving. With the 2014 curriculum, the approach is one of “mastery” , so children calculate and manipulate numbers, showing fluency and reasoning. “The answer is just the beginning” is one of its main tenents. For instance, today the children were answering questions like “What would you rather have – half of 14 gel pens, or double that number. Why?” and “There are 4 cars in the car park now, which is half what there was yesterday. How many cars were there yesterday?” This is where manipulatives are key – the children can see the problem and use the objects to work out the missing group, or answer.

We are focusing on “Little Red Riding Hood” as part of our “Traditional Tales” topic. The children will be describing the story’s setting, using good adjectives to describe what can be seen, heard and felt in the woods. We are collecting phrases like “the deep dark” wood as preparation for this.dw1

Green Class – History

Year 1 were detectives this afternoon – History detectives. Thanks to the fantastic organisation and support of our lovely Year 1 parents, we had lots of fascinating artefacts – mostly from the Victorian period – to explore. The children knew nothing about the objects under the cloths on the table (other than that they were precious and to be only touched carefully). They were to discuss what material (links with Science) it was made of, was shape it was, what colour it was, what it might have been used for, and which which room it would have been found in. Suggestions in Green Class for the hot water bottle included  a container for milk or water, or even that it was a type of night-time potty. The children were surprised at the long white apron and that women would wear one all day. We had lots of irons and one very perceptive comment was that women who ironed must have been very strong. The children loved trying on the clothes – a particular thank you to Mrs Witton for the lovely boy’s top hat. I was very impressed by how many children told me that, when their shoes or socks get holes in them, that they are mended. But I suggested that “in the old days” more things were mended than nowadays. I had to tell them that the “mushroom darner” was a special holder for socks when they were being patched up. One girl suggested that the metal shoe-shaped object was a last, but that was also used to mending – shoes, this time. The children are improving at distinguishing between metal, glass and china; and today’s session gave them an opportunity to practise these identification skills.  We even had different types of candlesticks – tin ones with a handle for carrying/hanging it up; and more expensive brass ones which would have stayed in a lounge or dining room.

Tomorrow we will write about the objects.

We are also learning about what is means to belong – to a religion, club, organisation, or family. We enjoyed seeing Amy and Charlie in their Beavers and chess outfits; and thought about what it is that we like about belonging to something.

In Maths we are learning about halves of groups – explaining how we know that, eg, 6 is half of 12; and applying the knowledge to word problems. This practical application aspect of Maths is crucial in the curriculum.

Thank you for your support with the historical artefacts, which really enriched the children’s learning and made learning about the past memorable.  1411 1412 1413 1414 1415 1416 1417 1418 1419 14110 14112dd1 dd2 dd3

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